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Agronomic Crops > Crops Blog > Posts > Pheromone trap catches for major insect pests (peanut and vegetable crops) – August 17, 2015

Beet armyworms (BAW): Has 5-6 generations in the south. Host plants include bean, corn, cowpea, eggplant, pea, pepper, potato, tomato, and many other vegetables. Field crops may include corn, cotton, peanut, sorghum, and soybean.

Fall armyworm (FAW): Has 4-5 generations in the south – migrates upward from FL and populations get worse mid- to-late-season on specialty or row crops. Prefers to feed on grasses then move to various row crops and vegetables that include fruiting crops.

BAW FAW graph 8-17-15.jpg 

FAW map 8-25-15.jpg

​ BAW map 8-25-15.jpg

FAW/BAW pest status update: Graphs above show the average counts of moths during certain time periods across 25 locations in the state. Several generations of beet armyworms have been detected with current average at 6.7 moths. The highest numbers of BAW moths have been captured from Henry, Escambia, Dallas and Perry counties.

Fall armyworm moth activity has increased in the past two weeks indicated by the spike in the graph (average moth numbers = 4.2). Activity of FAW moths has been very high in Lee, Clanton, Cullman, and Limestone counties indicating a possible migration of second or third generation moths to row and horticultural crops. Hay and livestock producers should visit for update about armyworms (updated by Dr. Kathy Flanders).  

Soybean looper (SL): Infestations happen from migrating populations or moths may be moved by weather systems. SL attack soybean and peanuts among other row crops. Also attacks many summer vegetable crops during late season.


Cabbage loopers (CL): We have a few locations across AL where we are monitoring this highly migratory insect. Adult moths are known to overwinter in south Florida. Host plants include a variety of crucifer crops along with sweet potatoes, beans, peas, squash, tomato, and watermelons.  


CL SL graph 8-17-15.jpg 

SL map 8-25-15.jpg
CL map 8-25-15.jpg
SL/CL pest status update: Significantly more cabbage looper moths were trapped from May to July 2015 (graph above). Typically, looper activity peaks in August on various row crops. Soybean looper numbers have been trailing behind but we have noticed a sharp increase in the SL moth activity (average = 5.4 moths) with caterpillars starting to show up in various crops – from peanuts to late-planted vegetables. Counties with highest soybean looper counts include Lee, Cullman, Dallas, and Escambia. It appears that we are currently catching the third generations of cabbage loopers.

Corn earworm (CEW): Also known as the tomato fruitworm. It has about 5-7 generations in the south. Corn, tomato and cotton appear to be favorite crops among numerous others row and horticultural plants that may also be attacked. In Alabama, peak CEW activity usually happens in late July and August – so remain alert for CEW and tobacco budworm mixed populations. Tomatoes are a favored host for CEW moths to lay eggs if corn is unavailable – so vegetable producers should watch out and scout intensively to detect this pest at the earliest!

Tobacco budworm (TBW):  Has about 5 generations in the south. Host crops include cotton, soybean, and peanuts among others. May also attack vegetables as pea, pepper, pigeon pea, squash, and tomato.


CEW TBW graph 8-17-15.jpg

CEW map 8-25-15.jpg

TBW map 8-25-15.jpg

CEW/TBW pest status update: This has been an interesting year for these insects with very slow increase in moth activity across the state. Last week we noticed a sharp increase in the number of CEW moths at about half of monitored sites (average = 2 moths per trap). Tobacco budworm activity has been erratic with detection of at least one moth at 40% locations. Cullman, Lee, Brewton, and Barbour counties have had the most TBW moth numbers. 

Lesser cornstalk borer (LCB): 3-4 generations may occur. Prefers various legume (including peanuts and soybeans) and grassy crops. In peanuts, LCB damage can cause rapid yield loss along with severe crop contamination during hot dry weather conditions. This insect can also devastate large acres of soybean fields under favorable conditions.


LCB graph 8-17-15.jpg 
LCB map 8-25-15.jpg 
LCB pest status update: LCB moths have been detected in very high numbers across the state with numbers averaging 37 moths per trap (see statewide distribution above). Statewide we have captured and removed over 4,600 moths in sticky traps. The highest moth numbers (May-August 2015) have been recorded from Escambia, Lee, Dallas, Cullman, and Henry counties. In dry weather, this insect poses a high risk to the peanut crop. 

Squash vine borer (SVB): Has one to two generation per year depending on location. Moths are day-flying and they can migrate long distances during early spring to find host plants. Moths look like wasps and lay eggs on the stem close to the soil. Caterpillars cannot be killed once they burrow inside the plant stalk, so use pest prevention tactics. Vines must be protected using insecticides or with insect netting to reduce egg laying.

SVB graph 8-17-15.jpg

SVB map 8-25-15.jpg

SVB pest status update: We are continuing to monitor this insect in order to record season-long activity and life cycle fluctuations. Moth numbers have decreased from 7 moths per trap to 3 moths per trap in about two weeks. It appears we are now detecting a second generation of these moths at the research farms. This is an insect pest that can be the final killer for squash plants after cucumber beetles and squash bugs have done their damage to the crop.   

USDA Drought Map


drought map 8-17-15.jpg 
Acknowledgement: The data visualization maps above have been developed using (Spensa Technologies, IN). We appreciate the assistance provided by Regional Extension Agents and producers for data collection/pest monitoring. Many thanks to Luke Knight and Lucinda Daughtry (Undergraduate Project Assistants) for assistance in insect monitoring.


For IPM questions, please call Ayanava Majumdar, 251-331-8416, or use the resources below.

Vegetable IPM:

Peanut IPM:

Facebook pages: Alabama Vegetable IPM or Alabama Peanut IPM 

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